The Darlie Routier Case

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    This site seeks to provide information about the case of Darlie Routier. Darlie is on death row in Texas for a crime she has steadfastly maintained she did not commit.

    A growing body of evidence supports her claims of innocence.

    Please take time to learn about Darlie’s case. Join us in speaking out.

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The Notes

Darlie Routier’s trial began on Monday, January 6th of 1997. Throughout the trial – particularly during the prosecution’s presentation of information and evidence – various officials claimed they did not take notes, lost notes, or did not bring their notes to trial. This occurred with enough prevalence that it is worth taking excerpts from the trial to demonstrate the seriousness of the issue. Notes are an important aspect of any investigation. One of the reasons notes become critical at trial is because of the lapse of time that occurs between the crime and the trial.

The Halls of Their Memory

David Waddell was the first police officer on the scene of the Routier home on June 6 of 1996. During cross-examination, defense attorney Doug Mulder asked Waddell about a whip-out book that many officers carried around to take notes in. The following transpired and if it did not pertain to such a serious case it might almost be humorous (taken from volume 29):

Mulder: Okay. Waddell doesn’t know if Darlie is still on phone. Fair enough?
Waddell: Yes, sir.
Mulder: Okay. So, are you taking notes?
Waddell: At this time?
Mulder: Um-hum (Counsel nodding head affirmatively.)
Waddell: No.
Mulder: Not taking any notes?
Waddell: No.
Mulder: Don’t you carry a whip-out book?
Waddell: Yes.
Mulder: Did you have your — tell the jury what you — do you have a whip-out book with you?
Waddell: I do.
Mulder: Would you show them what a whip-out book is?
Waddell: A whip-out book is just a little —
Mulder: Can you show them? Take it out of your pocket and show them?
Waddell: No.
Mulder: Oh, you don’t have it.
Waddell: I have a whip-out book, but it’s —
Mulder: You left it in the car?
Waddell: Well, no, I have it with me.
Mulder: With you right there?
Waddell: Yes, sir.
Mulder: Well, just show them.
Waddell: Well, it’s a small little —
Mulder: Is there some reason you don’t want to show them your whip-out book?
Waddell: Well, there’s nothing in my whip-out book that needs — it’s irrelevant to this case.
Mulder: Well, I’m not going to ask you to read it to them, I just asked — is there some reason you don’t want to show them that it’s just a little spiral book, isn’t it?
Waddell: Well, that’s another thing we were taught too also, is just —
Mulder: Never show anybody your whip-out book?
Waddell: No. Never show a defense attorney.
Mulder: Okay. I’ll tell you, I won’t look, if you’ll just show the jury what a whip-out book is.
Waddell: A small —
Mulder: No, no, just take yours out and show it to them, Officer Waddell, and I won’t look.
Waddell: Okay. (Witness complies.)
Mulder: Now, you had that book with you — that wasn’t so hard, was it?
Waddell: I had a book with me, yes, sir.
Mulder: All right. Not that one?
Waddell: Right.
Mulder: Right. But now, you’re talking to her, and she’s giving you information of the assault.
Waddell: Right.
Mulder: And you don’t take any notes?
Waddell: Not at the time. I’ve got my gun in one hand. And, I’m trying to talk on the police radio too and call for help.
Mulder: Oh, now you’ve got a radio in the other hand?
Waddell: Off and on. I’ve got it in a holder —
Mulder: Okay.
Waddell: — and every once in a while I have to pick it up and tell them —
Mulder: Send reinforcements?
Waddell: I called for — I told them we needed an ambulance, and we needed crime scene personnel, and that I needed some more help out here.
Mulder: All right. Okay. So you made that call. And as a matter of fact, the first notes that you made, were when you got back to the station, weren’t they?
Waddell: Well —
Mulder: Is that fair to say?
Waddell: I believe —
Mulder: That’s fair to say, isn’t it?
Waddell: No, I believe I made some before then.
Mulder: Oh, you believe you did?
Waddell: Yes, sir.
Mulder: Is that a kind of a definite, maybe?
Waddell: Well, I did make some before then.
Mulder: Oh, you did make some notes. Do you still have those notes?
Waddell: I don’t have them, no.
Mulder: Okay. Do you know where they are?
Waddell: No, sir, I don’t.
Mulder: Don’t know where they are?
Waddell: No, sir.
Mulder: Did you make those notes in one of these whip-out books?
Waddell: Yes.
Mulder: But not that one?
Waddell: Not this one.
Mulder: So you’ve lost the notes?
Waddell: No, I just don’t know where they are — I don’t have them with me. I believe a copy was given to Sergeant Walling.
Mulder: Okay. So, what we’re relying on now, is what you can retrieve, I take it, from the halls of your memory?
Waddell: Yes.

It wasn’t long before Mulder and Waddell discussed notes, or lack thereof, again:

Mulder: All right. Now, you talked with — you talked with Darlie, and got the information that you’ve told the prosecutor about; is that right?
Waddell: Yes.
Mulder: And didn’t enter it into your notes at that time? I’m not fussing with you, I’m just — is that right?
MR. GREG DAVIS: I’m sorry, I’m going to object to all these sidebars, about him not fussing, or whatever he’s doing.
THE COURT: I think he’s just commenting.
Mulder: I’m just trying to coax an answer from him. I’m just — I’m just —
THE COURT: I understand.
MR. GREG DAVIS: Just ask the questions and let him give the answers.
THE COURT: Gentlemen, please, let’s stop the bickering back and forth. Just ask the questions. I think Mr. Mulder was just asking a question. Let’s go on.
Mulder: I asked the question, would you ask him to answer?
Waddell: What’s your question?
THE COURT: Re-ask the question.
Mulder: I said: At this time you didn’t make any notes in your book, at the time then, and you explained that you had your hands full with a radio in one hand, calling for help from time to time, and you had your gun out in the other hand, in case the assailant came from the garage?
Waddell: Right.
Mulder: Okay. So you didn’t make any notes at  that time, did you?
Waddell: No.

Mulder and Waddell discussed the officer’s recollection of events once again:

Mulder: Do you really know one way or the other?
Waddell: I’m not for sure, no.
Mulder: You don’t — there was a lot going on, wasn’t there?
Waddell: There was a lot going on.
Mulder: Okay. And, of course, you didn’t take any notes, did you, at that point?
Waddell: No. Not at that minute, no.
Mulder: Okay. Is it fair to say that up to the point that Sergeant Walling arrived, you hadn’t taken any notes, had you?
Waddell: No.

Mulder asked Waddell about Darlie being taken to the hospital and then touched on the note topic again:

Mulder: Okay. Is it fair to say that she left before 3:00 o’clock, or left — is it around 3:00 o’clock, or before — she left at 3:00 o’clock before you were relieved on the front door?
Waddell: Yes, sir, I think so.
Mulder: Again, you still hadn’t had time, at that point, to make any notes, had you?
Waddell: No.

Lieutenant Matt Walling was the second officer to arrive on the scene. He testified that he left the Routier residence and returned to the police station at about 10:30 to 11 a.m. He subsequently prepared a report. He indicated he took notes at one point while he was at Darlie’s home.

Davis: Now, while you had been at the residence, had you made any notes?
Walling: Yes, sir, I had.
Davis: And what notes had you made while you were out there before going back?
Walling: The notes I took were when I was talking to the defendant and she gave me the physical description of the suspect.
Davis: Okay. Dark ball cap. Correct?
Walling: Yes, sir. White male, dark colored ball cap, black shirt and blue jeans.

On cross-examination, Walling was asked about his notes:

Mulder: Okay. Well, you know then that he was able to walk from the window, and run from the window — both run and walk from the window to the gate without setting off the light?
Walling: I’m not sure what path that he took.
Mulder: Okay. But you were there when that experiment was conducted?
Walling: Yes, sir, I was. I timed it.
Mulder: Did you make any notes of that, or did you just relay the timing to somebody?
Walling: I just relayed it to somebody.
Mulder: Matter of fact, the only note that you made out there was — you carry a little whip-out book, don’t you?
Walling: Yes, sir, I do.
Mulder: Could we see that?
Walling: Yes, sir.
Mulder: Okay. You had a book similar to that, did you?
Walling: No, sir, I had this book.
Mulder: You had that particular book?
Walling: Yes, sir.
Mulder: Okay. Did you — but you didn’t note the time; is that correct?
Walling: Concerning the yard?
Mulder: Yes, sir.
Walling: No, sir, I didn’t. Now, I didn’t have this book, or I don’t know if I had this book or not when you’re talking about the experiment with the light. I had this book the night that I was dispatched to 5801 Eagle Drive.
Mulder: Oh, okay. But you went out there later on, with respect to the experiment with the light?
Walling: Yes, sir.
Mulder: That happened a day or two later?
Walling: Something like that.
Mulder: Several days later, whatever?
Walling: Yes, sir.
Mulder: You didn’t make any notes at that time, you just relayed your information to someone there who was taking notes?
Walling: Yes, sir.

Under recross-examination, Mulder attempted to clarify the issue of the notes.

Mulder: Is it your testimony today under oath that the only notes that you took out there that were in the whip-out book page that I showed you, is it just a coincidence that those notes correspond with what you said under oath, the gist of your conversation was, or the substance of your conversation was in August? Is that just a coincidence?
Walling: No.
Mulder: Do you want me to ask that again?
MR. GREG DAVIS: Ask that again, please.
Mulder: Okay. You were asked the substance of your conversation and you said, “I asked for a description, and she told me dark colored ball cap, black shirt and blue jeans, and the conversation lasted less than 30 seconds.” Is it — my question to you now: Is it just a coincidence that that corresponds with the notes that you took in your whip-out book? Is that just a coincidence?
Walling: Well —
Mulder: I mean, that’s your whip-out book. You didn’t say anymore at the time when you were asked the substance of the conversation and your whip-out book doesn’t show anymore than that. Is that just a coincidence? If it is, I’ll write it down. If it’s not —
Walling: Well, is it a coincidence that — I’m not quite sure that I follow you. I mean, is it a coincidence that I — at the time that I didn’t tell about my conversation with her about asking her what happened?
Mulder: Yes. Is that just a coincidence?
Walling: No, I forgot that.
Mulder: Okay. And you forgot to make any notes of that, too, didn’t you?
Walling: About what now?
Mulder: That you asked her anything else. You didn’t make any other notes about that in your whip-out book?
Walling: No, those are the only notes I made, yes, sir.
Mulder: In your whip-out book?
Walling: Yes, sir.
Mulder: Okay.

Doctor Patrick Dillawn was a resident at Baylor University Medical Center. He was present at the hospital when Darlie and her youngest son, Damon, were brought into the hospital. The medical notes became an important part of the trial because various medical personnel testified under oath that Darlie did not demonstrate appropriate amounts of grief in response to the deaths of her children. This testimony was contradicted by notes taken by nurses who attended to Darlie and observed her crying and tearful at different times during her hospital stay. Douglass cross-examined Dr. Dillawn about his own notes:

Douglass: All right. When you visited Ms. Routier, how many times did you go to see her in the hospital over those, what, three days?
Dr. Dillawn: I saw her twice. I saw her in the operating room on the 6th. I saw her later that day in ICU. And I saw her once a day on the following days.
Douglass: So how many times total?
Dr. Dillawn: I guess five.
Douglass: Okay. And, did you make notes of every time you saw her?
Dr. Dillawn: I made one note a day, besides the operative note.
Douglass: Okay. And, did you have a chance to read through your notes in terms of what nurses said with respect to Mrs. Routier?
Dr. Dillawn: I did not read the nurses’ notes.
Douglass: Would it surprise you that when you talk about her reaction, that there are notes and references in the medical records that you can refer to that at various times over those three day periods, she was tearful, she was frightened, she was very upset, crying, anxious about the events that had taken place, and that nurses noted that and they put it in their  notes?
Dr. Dillawn: Are you asking if that would surprise me?
Douglass: Yes.
Dr. Dillawn: No, it would not surprise me.
Douglass: And you certainly would rely on what those nurses said because they’re with her a lot, are they not?
Dr. Dillawn: Yes, they are.

Sergeant Thomas Dean Ward testified for the prosecution about his involvement in the case. His notes were discussed at trial during direct examination by Greg Davis, but oddly enough the report he wrote disappeared.

Davis: I’ve had marked for identification purposes as State’s Exhibit 20-C. Do you recognize that, sir, to be a report that you prepared in this case?
Ward: This is my rough draft report that I prepared. Yes.
Davis: All right. And let me just ask you: You say this is a rough — rough notes of what happened. Correct?
Ward: Yes, sir.
Davis: In all fairness, did you also prepare a handwritten report about what happened?
Ward: Yes, sir, I did.
Davis: All right. And, have we looked for that, and has your lead detective looked for that and can we not find that?
Ward: And the secretary back home has looked for that and we can’t find it.
Davis: Okay. Well, let me just ask you: You know, Mr. Mulder has got a copy of 20-C, but let me just ask you, did you use 20-C to prepare your handwritten report?
Ward: Yes, sir, I did.
Davis: So this is — would it be fair to say that this is the basis of the report that today we cannot find; is that right?
Ward: Yes, sir.

Ward was asked by Greg Davis the following:

Davis: So they’re trained to preserve and observe crime scenes?
Ward: That’s correct.
Davis: Now, did you take notes that night?
Ward: Yes, sir.
Davis: In your whip-out book?
Ward: Not a whip-out book. I carried a big notebook.
Davis: A big note book?
Ward:  Yes.
Davis: And where are those notes?
Ward: Locked up in my file cabinet, I believe.
Davis: Okay. And when did you lock them up in the file cabinet?
Ward: When I finished that report.
Davis: Finished what report? The typewritten one or the missing —
Ward: No, the handwritten.
Davis: Okay.
Ward: So, probably since maybe June the 10th.
Davis: Okay. The missing report is the handwritten one?
Ward: Yes, sir.

Defense attorney Richard Mosty cross-examined Ward about the lost handwritten notes and a report he claimed to have prepared on his computer using his written notes.

Mosty: Okay. And then, if I understand, you typed a report, after the handwritten report?
Ward: No.
Mosty: No?
Ward: I took the handwritten notes.
Mosty: Okay.
Ward: And the handwritten notes are just like anybody else’s handwritten notes. They’re enough to jog your memory.
Mosty: Okay.
Ward: They’re not in detail.
Mosty: Okay.
Ward: From that, the evening of the 6th, I prepared that report that’s in front of you.
Mosty: Okay. So you got your notes and they’re just hieroglyphics or scribbling, or whatever it is to remind yourself?
Ward: They’re notes to remind yourself. They’re not hieroglyphics.
Mosty: Okay. And if you read my writing you might call it hieroglyphics. Okay. And then you wrote — would you call it a narrative report?
Ward:  The report that I submitted is just almost verbatim of that report that’s in front of you.
Mosty: Well, I understand. But let’s talk about on June the 6th.
Ward: June the 6th.
Mosty: When you’re sitting there, and I guess you’ve got your notes beside you, or referring to them when you need to?
Ward: Yes.
Mosty: And you’re handwriting out?
Ward: No.
Mosty: No?
Ward: No. I’m typing.
Mosty: Okay.
Ward: I took the handwritten notes, I typed them, and then I hand wrote them again.
Mosty: Okay. You took —
Ward: Typing is in the middle.
Mosty: Typing is in the middle?
Ward: Yes, sir.
Mosty: And then, after you had typed up this report, then you sat down with this report, and got you a pad of paper and commenced to handwriting out this report?
Ward: Yes, sir, I did.
Mosty: But when you did that, did you put the two of them together? I mean, did you take them and take them to the in-box and did you throw them together in the in-box?
Ward: No.
Mosty: Well, what did you do with them?
Ward: I saved one on the computer and turned the other one in.
Mosty: Okay. So even the one on the computer’s lost?
Ward: No.
Mosty: The hard copy?
Ward: The copy that you’ve got this morning we called back to the department and the secretary went in and pulled it up off of my hard drive and faxed it to us.
Mosty: Okay. And, as a matter of fact, she faxed it down here at 9:44 AM this morning?
Ward: I didn’t check the time, but that’s close.
Mosty: All right. What time did you start testifying?
Ward: Right after that.
Mosty: When you started testifying, had this report even come in?
Ward: Yes, sir.
THE COURT: Let the record reflect that this witness started testifying at 9:54 AM.
Mosty: Okay.
Wade: Counselor, we didn’t now this thing was missing until this morning, or believe me, I would have had it.
Mosty: So you never had an opportunity to look for it?
Wade: No, sir.
Mosty: Okay. But now this one — so the hard copy, did you sign the one that you typed up?
Wade: No, sir.
Mosty: You don’t sign those?
Wade: It’s on my computer.
Mosty: Okay. But —
Wade: That’s my rough copy of my notes. That’s not the one I turned in.
Mosty: You got a handwritten report that’s more complete than this one or not?
Wade: It’s almost verbatim with what that one was.
Mosty: Except you made some mistakes you know.
Wade: On that one.
Mosty: On this one here?
Wade: Yes, sir.
Mosty: Yeah. Well, tell me what mistakes you remember making.
Ward: On the date, which was June the 6th, I left that date out.
Mosty: You couldn’t remember the date?
Ward: It had been a long day, sir.
Mosty: All right.
Ward: And on the bottom one, where Officer Mayne took the sock, I believe I put Officer Beddingfield.
Mosty: Okay. Was that in your notes?
Ward: No.
Mosty: Your scribble notes?
Ward: No, that came out of my head.
Mosty: Okay. That was from the halls of your memory?
Ward: That’s right.

Mosty went on to discuss how Ward had put inaccurate information in his report when he failed to correctly identify the person who picked up the sock from the alley way behind the Routier home. Ward said he had detected the error the following day when he was handwriting a report using the typed ones. Ward testified he did not usually bring his notes to court when he testified, even though he acknowledged that being able to reference the notes was important when it came to accurately describing events that occurred during an investigation.

Mosty questioned Ward about the search that took place outside of the Routier home, which resulted in the police finding the bloody sock in the alley way, a number of houses down. Ward claimed the sock was found “shortly after 4:30” in the morning. The officer testified that the search of the block-long alley was thorough in that the police searched boats and every trash can.

Ward testified that during the search he observed no blood other than that seen on the sock. At one point during the search Ward and lead detective Jimmy Patterson observed knives in one of the yards during a daytime search of the alley way. Mosty asked if anyone collected the knives and Ward said “no”. Astonishingly, Ward also admitted that no one had taken photographs of the knives. The following was stated during testimony, referencing a lack of notes pertaining to the event of seeing the knives:

Mosty: Did you take photographs of the knives?
Ward: No.
Mosty: Nobody did?
Ward: I don’t think there was photographs taken.
Mosty: Okay. And the knives weren’t even of such interest to you that you noted them in your handwritten notes or —
Ward: That’s correct.
Mosty: Or your report or anything?
Ward: There was no question in my mind those knives were not associated with this crime.
Mosty: Just a non-event?
Ward: A non-event.

Three people had been stabbed and cut with at least one knife in a home that bordered the alley way where the knives were observed and yet when investigators saw knives in a yard they deemed it a “non-event”.

Officer Steve Wade did not have much to offer in terms of notes either. Greg Davis broached the subject almost immediately during the officer’s testimony:

Davis: Officer Wade, let me ask you, if you would, to look at this piece of paper that I have had marked for identification purposes as State’s Exhibit 34-A. Do you recognize that, sir?
Wade: I sure do.
Davis: Is that a note that you made of the times that you spent on the door that day on June 6, 1996?
Wade: Yes, sir, it is.
Davis: Okay. Besides this one piece of paper, sir, did you make any written reports concerning your activities out there?
Wade: No, sir, I did not.
Davis: Okay. I’m talking about either typed or handwritten. Any other notes besides this one piece of paper that has the times?
Wade: No, sir.

Paramedic Brian Leland Koschak took some notes per the request of the police department. He drew a diagram that was included in his notes:

Mulder: Mr. Koschak, just a thing or two, and I’ll be reasonably brief. I notice in your notes you have a diagram; is that right?
Koschak: Yes, sir.
Mulder: Let me hand you a portion of what has been marked for identification record purposes as 20-E, and I’ll ask you if that is the diagram that you have authored?
Koschak: Yes, sir, it is.
Mulder: Okay. That’s not an accurate diagram, is it?
Koschak: Well, it’s definitely not to scale.
Mulder: Well, and I’m not faulting you for it, but the furniture is out of place, isn’t it?
Koschak: Yeah.
Mulder: Huh?
Koschak: Yes, sir.
Mulder: Okay. And, so, needless to say, you did that, I assume, after the fact?
Koschak: Yes, sir.
Mulder: You didn’t do it while you were in there, did you?
Koschak: No, sir.
Mulder: Okay. And memory on what was going on in there, there was a lot going on, wasn’t it?
Koschak: Yes, sir.
Mulder: Okay. And both the male and female were both screaming and excited and distraught. I believe you described her as distraught, did you not?
Koschak: It was extremely loud.
Mulder: Chaotic?
Koschak: Yes, sir.

Officer David Mayne took the stand to discuss his activities throughout the investigation. The following transpired:

Mosty: Mr. Mayne, have you prepared any reports?
Mayne: Yes, sir.
Mosty: How many?
Mayne: Approximately two.
Mosty: Approximately two?
Mayne: Two.
Mosty: Is it two, or is it approximately two?
Mayne:  It’s two.
Mosty: You’re sure?
Mayne: Yes, sir.
Mosty: Okay. Did you take any notes?
Mayne: Yes, sir.
Mosty: Did you keep them?
Mayne: Yes, sir.
Mosty: Where are they?
Mayne: They’re at my office.
Mosty: Your office in Rowlett?
Mayne: Yes, sir.
Mosty: When is the last time you looked at them?
Mayne: The notes?
Mosty: Yes, sir.
Mayne: It would be when I was there.
Mosty: Okay.
Mayne: Before the trial.
Mosty: Before the trial?
Mayne: Yes, sir.
Mosty: Okay. How many pages of notes?
Mayne: One.
Mosty: One page of notes. How long are these approximately two reports?
Mayne: Two pages.
Mosty: Each?
Mayne: No, sir.
Mosty: One page each?
Mayne: Two pages on one, and a paragraph on the other.
Mosty: When are they dated?
Mayne: The — June 6th and June 14th.
Mosty: When is the last time you looked at those?
Mayne: During the trial.
Mosty: Okay. Why didn’t you bring your notes?
Mayne: Because I have studied them, and I have looked over my reports.
Mosty: Well, do you think maybe that there might be something in the notes that I saw that was interesting, that you chose not to see?
Mayne: No, sir.
Mosty: Didn’t think so?
Mayne: No, sir.
Mosty: Okay.

Mayne resumed his testimony the following day. The issue of notes came up again when Mosty discussed a lack of date on the notes as well as accessibility to some of the notes by others in the department:

Mosty: Did you tell me yesterday that you took notes as you went through, things — as you did things you took notes?
Mayne: After I got back to the station I jotted down some notes.
THE COURT: What have we got here? Just speak as loud as you can. I think we have some electrical problems over here this morning. You just have to talk as loud as you can. Sorry.
Mayne: They’re computerized generated. They are on the computer.
Mosty: So, it’s accurate to say that yesterday when you were referring to taking notes, you were not talking about jotting down something at 5:50 a.m. or 6:15 or whenever it was?
Mayne: Basically, on the notes that I had, was on the evidence tags, and then I went back and did a computerized, typed report.
Mosty: Okay. Let me hand you a sheet of paper that was provided to me this morning. Is this what you referred to as your notes?
Mayne: Yes, sir.
Mosty: You referred to those yesterday?
Mayne: Yes, sir.
Mosty: And those are the notes you didn’t have yesterday?
Mayne: Yes, sir.
Mosty: And they were faxed in last night?
Mayne: Yes, sir.
Mosty: And are these, likewise, kept on a computer?
Mayne: Yes, sir, they are.
Mosty: So, somebody — you could just call up there and somebody in Rowlett could pull this up on the computer?
Mayne: Well, they did it on my computer, yes, sir.
Mosty: So, somebody else can have access to your reports?
Mayne: That particular one, yes, sir.
Mosty: Well, what about the others?
Mayne: They are in a file of mine that has my password.
Mosty: Okay. But this one somebody could get access to these notes?
Mayne: Yes, sir.
Mosty: And, somebody could change them if they got in there on that computer?
Mayne: They are not changed, as I looked at them.
Mosty: Well, I understand that. But someone could change them, couldn’t they?
Mayne: They could get to it, yes, sir.
Mosty: And they are undated. It doesn’t say June 6th?
Mayne: No, sir.
Mosty: Or January 15th?
Mayne: It’s just my notes.

Mosty questioned Mayne about his preparation for the trial:

Mosty: How many times have you been over your testimony?
Mayne: Several.
Mosty: With whom? The district attorney? How many times?
Mayne: Approximately four.
Mosty: Approximately four. When were they?
Mayne: Approximately sometime late summer.
Mosty: Where was that?
Mayne: That was at the district attorney’s office.
Mosty: Did you make any notes of that meeting?
Mayne: No, sir.
Mosty: Did you go back and look at your reports for that meeting?
Mayne: When?
Mosty: Before or after?
Mayne: I looked over my notes that I had.
Mosty: Okay. Before the meeting?
Mayne: Yes, sir.
Mosty: And the next meeting was when?
Mayne: Sometime in October, in that area.
Mosty: At what location?
Mayne: At the — our police station.
Mosty: Did you have an opportunity to look over your notes before that meeting?
Mayne: No, sir.
Mosty: These meetings were with whom? Who from the district attorney’s office was there?
Mayne: Greg Davis.
Mosty: Only Greg Davis?
Mayne: No, sir, there was more people there.
Mosty: He was —
Mayne: I don’t recall.
Mosty: He is the only one you remember?
Mayne: Yes, sir.

Crime scene consultant James Cron took the stand to discuss his role. He brought up the importance of notes – as well as the careful preservation of a crime scene – on his own in the following portion of the trial transcripts:

Davis: You have met with the officers, you have done your initial walk-through with them, what is the next thing to do in this situation?
Cron: Well, there is a loose procedure that can be altered, due to the different circumstances. But there is a basic procedure to use in crime scene investigation. Is that what you want me to —
Davis: Yes, sir. What is that procedure? Is it just something that you have come up with, or is it some sort of standardized procedure?
Cron: Well, it’s basically standard. It’s a common sense approach more than anything. It involves a walk-through naturally to plan your attack, or plan your actions at a scene. The second one is to record everything. Photographically, and in a sketch, if it’s required in the type of scene that you’re investigating. But record it with notes, measurements of the sketch, and a series of photographs. Once it’s recorded, the next step is to take care of your fragile evidence; hair, fiber, blood, anything that could be destroyed. Latent prints. And the step after that, is your movable objects, items that might be sent to a crime lab or to be processed, however, processed at a police department or a sheriff’s department, or at your own, the investigator’s own agency, the movable things have to be taken care of. Then, the scene is inspected, objects removed, photographs then, follow-up photographs are then taken to see what is under, behind, on top of, or whatever, of the evidence. This is after it’s initially recorded in it’s intact or first position and the photographs, have been already taken. After that, another walk-through is conducted to insure that something wasn’t overlooked. Basically, that is the steps used in a crime scene procedure. The variations would occur, where you have an outside condition, that maybe the weather was going to destroy some evidence, and you would have to skip the photographs in place of collecting it before it would be damaged by the weather, a crowd condition, where you might have a hostile crowd, you have to watch the evidence, such as weapons, or on a highway that the traffic was a problem. But these are also — that is the basic steps in a crime scene investigation.

Cron testified that it was standard practice to take a common sense approach to crime scene analysis. He said that one must “record everything” using photographs, notes, and sketches. However, Cron did not seem to take his own advice when working on the crime scene within the Routier home. The following testimony demonstrates his actual approach which involved waiting to make his notes until the 16th when he created his report:

Cron: And like I say, I thought that is unusual, that is something different, there is a vacuum cleaner here.
Mulder: You probably said something to Walling about it, didn’t you?
Cron: No. I was making my — I don’t recall. I might have said, look at this.
Mulder: But you didn’t make any notes, did you?
Cron: No.
Mulder: Okay. And why is that?
Cron: Well, I didn’t have any need to at that time. I made my notes later when I made the report.
Mulder: You made the report on the 16th, didn’t you?
Cron: On the 16th, yes. I made my verbal report that night to them.
Mulder: Well, you made your verbal report when you got out there by the back, didn’t you?
Cron: Yes, right.
Mulder: You are telling them, “Guys, this is what I think, there is no — hey, the die is cast.”
Cron: Right. Well, I told them after the walk-through, when I came around the front, I said, “Look, we have no intruder here.”
Mulder: Yeah, right.
Cron: That was my verbal comment.
Mulder: That is Lieutenant Cron’s analysis after, what, did the walk-through take 20 minutes?
Cron: 20 or 30, yes, sir.
Mulder: 20, 30 minutes. Okay.
Cron: It was so obvious it didn’t take long.
Mulder: Okay. And, I guess when you walked around there, and saw that vacuum cleaner that you now say was out of the ordinary, you said something to Walling, and Walling told you that, “Hey, when I came through here initially with Waddell, there weren’t (sic) no vacuum cleaner there.”
Cron: He didn’t tell me that.
Mulder: Oh, he didn’t tell you that?
Cron: No.
Mulder: Would that have made a difference?
Cron: Well, it might have made a difference if they said the living room window was — I mean, it doesn’t even compute.
Mulder: I know it. He said, “You don’t have to take my word for it, Lieutenant, not only did I not see it there, but if you will just check the man on the door, he was in here. He walked in here because he thought there was somebody hiding back here. And not only did he say there wasn’t a vacuum cleaner there when he first came into the house, but he said there was nothing there that would” —
Davis: I’m sorry, that is a misstatement of testimony. What they said is that they didn’t see it, not that it was not there.
Mulder: Okay. Well, he said he didn’t see anything that would impede his traffic, from the den to the sink.
Cron: Did he —
Mulder: Waddell.
Cron:  I don’t, I mean I have no comment on that.
Mulder: He said he didn’t see a vacuum cleaner, he didn’t see anything that would impede his traffic —
Davis:  I’m going to object.

To clarify, Waddell testified earlier in the trial to the following:

Mulder: Now, were you asked were there any large objects lying on the floor, and did you answer, “I didn’t see any –” talking about the kitchen?
Waddell: Yes.
Mulder: Did you answer that?
Waddell: That sounds right, yes.
Mulder: Okay. Nothing you could trip over if you were walking to the sink and you said you didn’t see any; is that right?
Waddell: Well, I didn’t see anything.
Mulder: All right. So, you didn’t see any vacuum cleaner at that time. You didn’t see any vacuum cleaner at the time you’re talking about now, in this area, did you?
Waddell: No.

Tom Bevel took the stand to describe various aspects of the blood evidence. During part of his testimony Mosty inquired about Bevel’s note-taking in reference to experiments performed with a knife. The experiments consisted of dipping a knife in blood and dropping it on linoleum to see what kind of blood impression or spatter it would create. Bevel’s testimony hinted at the lack of scientific rigor associated with the “experiments”.

Mosty: You didn’t take any notes of these experiments?
Bevel: The only notes taken, was the fact that photographs were taken.
Mosty: Let’s try to be clear. I’m talking about you sitting down and saying experiment number 1, you didn’t do that, did you?
Bevel: I did not.
Mosty: Now, did you document, in your notes, for instance, how much blood you loaded on the knife?
Bevel: By weighing it, or any manner?
Mosty: Any manner.
Bevel: I just simply had the blade covered with blood.
Mosty: Had the blade covered with blood?
Bevel: Yes, sir.
Mosty: Okay. And, was it dripping or not dripping?
Bevel: It was not dripping in all, with exception of one.
Mosty: Okay. One time you had it dripping?
Bevel: Yes, sir.
Mosty: How many experiments did you do?
Bevel: Of simply dropping the knife into that area?
Mosty: On to the linoleum, that’s all I’m talking about.
Bevel: Okay. Well, let me be specific. In multiple areas, in other words, not just there, but on the linoleum in other areas.
Mosty: I’m talking about any linoleum testing, how many times did you drop the knife?
Bevel: Approximately eight.
Mosty: Okay. You can’t verify that?
Bevel: I think we could by looking at all of the photographs. Yes, sir.
Mosty: You think you could. Well, you didn’t take any notes of anything?
Bevel: No, sir.
Mosty: Now, in each time, did you put the knife in both sides in the blood and completely got the knife bloody?
Bevel: I did that, and then held the knife up until it ceased dripping blood.
Mosty: You tapped it?
Bevel: Until it ceased dripping blood.
Mosty: You held it up, or did you tap it into the pan?
Bevel: At various times I probably did both.
Mosty: Okay.
Bevel: But the point was that the blood had ceased dripping.
Mosty: Okay. But sometimes you dipped it in the pan before you dropped it, and sometimes you held it over?
Bevel: No, sir.
Mosty: Okay. Which did you do?
Bevel:  I’m not sure I understand your point.
Mosty: Well, you said sometimes you may have tapped it, and sometimes you may not have?
Bevel: Yes, sir.

Lead detective James “Jimmy” Patterson was not called by the prosecution to testify. Instead, he was called by the defense. In reference to activity that took place in the Routier home immediately following the murders, Patterson testified to the following:

Mulder: Okay. I mean, that is the reason we make reports, isn’t it? Because we can’t be expected to remember everything?
Patterson: Well, that is to refresh our memory, yes, sir.
Mulder: And, like you have so skillfully pointed out, had it not been for the paramedics reports, you wouldn’t know what any of the paramedics did out there, would you?
Patterson: That’s correct.
Mulder: Because you have not, to this date, talked to any of them, have you?
Patterson: No, I have not.
Mulder: Okay. So you don’t know which ones were in the house, whether they were all in the house, or what parts of the house they went into, or what they did while they were there, do you?
Patterson: Well, by their notes I do know.
Mulder: Oh, they all addressed that, as to where they went in the particular house, and what they did?
Patterson: They addressed what they did, yes.
Mulder: Okay. But they don’t address where they went in the house, do they?
Patterson: No, sir, I don’t believe so.
Mulder: All right. And you didn’t think that that was important to you, I guess, in evaluating the case, or you would have interviewed them?
Patterson: They have been interviewed.
Mulder: But not by you?
Patterson: But not by me.
Mulder: Okay. Did you interview the officers that were first on the scene?
Patterson: I read their notes.
Mulder: Okay. So your knowledge of what their activities were, of course, would be limited by the notes that they prepared?
Patterson: Yes, sir.

Patterson then testified about a neighbor approaching him about seeing a black car leaving the scene around the time police showed up. He testified to the following:

Mulder: Okay. And, will you tell us, and tell the jury what your conversation with the lady was about, please, sir?
Patterson: She asked to speak with an officer, and so I walked over there, and she said something to the effect that she had saw a car —
THE COURT: The jurors cannot hear you on the end down there.
Patterson: That she had saw a car leaving that scene, as the police and the fire department had arrived, or right after they had arrived.
Mulder: And, she also told you that she was familiar with the cars in the neighborhood, didn’t she?
Patterson: No, sir, I don’t recall her telling me that.
Mulder: Okay. You made a note of that in your report, did you, your conversation with the lady?
Patterson: Yes, sir.
Mulder: Did you later on that afternoon, have an occasion to — you or one of the police officers there, to talk with a Karen Neal in regards to a small, black car that had passed through the neighborhood that afternoon?
Patterson: I did not.
Mulder: Do you know if anybody else did?
Patterson: No, sir, I do not.
Mulder: Would it be your responsibility, as the primary officer in charge of this case, to find those things out? I mean, would you be the center where the information is funneled into?
Patterson: Yes, sir.

Sometimes lead detective Patterson felt like dating his notes and sometimes he didn’t:

Mulder: And this contains all of the notes that you have made in this particular case?
Patterson: Yes, sir.
Mulder: When were these notes made, Detective Patterson?
Patterson: They have been made at different times.
Mulder: Okay. I figured that out, that they were made at different times. But, did you date them?
Patterson: Some of them is dated and some of them are not.
Mulder: Well, why wouldn’t you date all of the reports?
Patterson: Well, I just didn’t date them.
Mulder: Well, why?
Patterson: I don’t have a reason, I just didn’t date them.
Mulder: Well, you knew what the date was, didn’t you?
Patterson: I know what the date is going to be.
Mulder: All right. But how many did you date, and how many did you not date?
Patterson: Well, there’s a few pages that are dated, and a few pages that are not dated.
Mulder: Okay.

Patterson’s unique approach to taking notes was again emphasized as Mulder went through some of the detective’s notes, inquiring about some of them:

Mulder: Okay. Do you find any other notes in there that are dated? Excuse me, I think there is  medical — it says M.E. office, and it has the date, but nothing written.
Patterson: It has the date on there.
Mulder: Is that what I am holding up here?
Patterson: Yes, sir.
Mulder: Where it just says 5:44 A.M., and 6-6-96, M.E. office?
Patterson: Right.
Mulder: Does that mean you were at the M.E. office?
Patterson: No, sir.
Mulder: What does it mean?
Patterson: That means that that is what time that I talked to someone at the M.E.’s office from the hospital.
Mulder: Can you tell who you talked to?
Patterson: I don’t remember her name.
Mulder: But you can remember that it was a female?
Patterson: Yes, sir.
Mulder: But didn’t write any notes other than that?
Patterson: No, sir, I didn’t.

At some point, Mulder realized that the notes Patterson was referring to throughout his testimony – besides the typed notes – were actually mental notes:

Mulder: Where are the notes?
Patterson: That is this right here.
Mulder: Well, that is typed?
Patterson: Okay. I didn’t take handwritten notes.
Mulder: Oh, you took mental notes. You mean, we have been going through this exercise, and you have been telling me all along that the notes you took were simply mental notes?
Patterson: Yes, sir.
Mulder: Okay. And those, I guess, were those timed and dated?
Patterson: My mental notes?
Mulder: Um-hum. (Attorney nodding head affirmatively.)
Patterson: Well, I have dates and times on there.
Mulder: Okay. But the notes that you took, that you were telling us about, when you interviewed Darin Routier, were mental notes?
Patterson: Correct.

Mulder inquired further about how extensively Darin was or was not interviewed:

Mulder: Okay. You didn’t talk to Detective Frosch and find out?
Patterson: I talked to him briefly, yes.
Mulder: Before or after you interviewed Darin?
Patterson: Before.
Mulder: Okay. Where did you talk to him? In the presence of Darin?
Patterson: No, just right outside the waiting room.
Mulder: Of course, you didn’t make any written notes on that, did you?
Patterson: I did not, no.

Lead detective Patterson wasn’t sure if Frosch took written notes or mental notes:

Mulder: Now, during your interview with Darin Routier, did Detective Frosch take any notes?

Patterson: Yes, sir.
Mulder: And, in your presence?
Patterson: Yes, sir.
Mulder: Written notes?
Patterson: Written notes? I can’t say for sure, I don’t know.
Mulder: Okay. All right. And I mean, is there some reason that you all didn’t take written notes?
Patterson: No, sir.
Mulder: I mean, I guess I wouldn’t know enough not to take notes. Is that a bad practice, to take notes?
Patterson: I don’t think so, no.
Mulder: But you just take them sometimes and sometimes you don’t?
Patterson: Well, in this case I didn’t take any notes, no.

Patterson and Frosch interviewed Darlie after she came out of anesthesia. Despite the fact Darlie was medicated when questioned, Patterson didn’t think noting the start and finish time of their interview with her was important:

Mulder: Okay. Did you tell Detective Frosch to note, in his notes there, the date and time that the interview began, and the date and time when the interview ceased?
Patterson: I did not.
Mulder: Okay. Do you know whether he did or not?
Patterson: I know that he — he has the date that we was there, and the date that we started, or that we went up there, and the time that we went up there. As far as him jotting down the time we actually started the interview, no.
Mulder: He didn’t do that?
Patterson: No.
Mulder: And he didn’t jot down the time that you —
Patterson: Stopped.
Mulder: Stopped the interview?
Patterson: No.
Mulder: And, I guess you didn’t think that was important, or you would have had him do it?
Patterson: Right, I don’t see that that had anything to do with it, no.

Patterson referred to his mental notes during his testimony when he spoke about an interview with Darlie:

Patterson: And, I would have to look at my notes to see what else was said.
Mulder: Okay. Are you talking about your written notes?
Patterson: No, I’m talking about Frosch’s notes or the supplement.
Mulder: You just made mental notes?
Patterson: Yes, sir.

Apparently some of Frosch’s handwritten notes went missing at some point:

Mulder: Detective Patterson, while the jury was out of the room you went through your entire file here, did you not?
Patterson: Yeah, pretty much so.
Mulder: All right. And you were unable to find Chris Frosch’s notes there?
Patterson: I didn’t find them, no.
Mulder: It’s your file, isn’t it?
Patterson: Yes, sir.
Mulder: All right. You are telling us that Chris Frosch’s notes are not in your file?
Patterson: I didn’t see them in there.
Mulder: Okay. But you reviewed them last night?
Patterson: I did, but I didn’t look in that file. I’ve got a copy of his notes.
Mulder: Where is that?
Patterson: I just gave you two pages.
Mulder: Oh, you are talking about what is written up here?
Patterson: The supplement.
Mulder: Yes.
Patterson: I just gave you two pages of the supplement.
Mulder: Yes, sir.
Patterson: Yes.
Mulder: Okay. Well, I was talking about his actual notes?
Patterson: I don’t have that. Are you talking about handwritten notes?
Mulder: Yes, sir.
Patterson: I don’t have those.
Mulder: Okay. So what you are telling us you reviewed, you apparently reviewed the report that he made, and not his handwritten notes?
Patterson: What I reviewed was — he has a supplement, and I reviewed this supplement.
Mulder: Okay.

The matter of the notes remained an issue as Patterson’s testimony continued:

Mulder: Let me hand you what have been marked for identification and record purposes as Defendant’s Exhibits 74 and 75, and I’ll ask you if you recognize Chris Frosch’s handwriting?
Patterson: I’m not sure.
Mulder: Well, I don’t know whether you would take my word for it or not, but he handed those to me, and told me they were his notes?
Patterson: Okay.
Mulder: Do you have any quarrel with that?
Patterson: No, sir.
Mulder: These are the notes that you saw him taking at the hospital?
Patterson: No, sir.
Mulder: Oh, these are not the notes that he was taking at the hospital?
Patterson: I didn’t see what he was taking, because where I was standing, I was asking questions and he was kind of standing to my left, and I wasn’t really paying any attention to him.
Mulder: Well, when you left the hospital, did you review his notes to make sure that he put down what was accurate?
Patterson: No, I did not.
Mulder: Why not?
Patterson: Well, I just didn’t review his notes.
Mulder: Well, I mean, you wanted to be accurate with what she said, don’t you?
Patterson: Yes, sir.
Mulder: Okay. Well, I mean, what better way to be accurate than either, one, record it with a tape recorder, and you could have done that, couldn’t you?
Patterson: We could have, but that is not a policy that we use, no.
Mulder: Okay. Well, I don’t care whether it’s your policy or not, I just want to know —
Patterson: Well, we care that it’s our policy, and it’s not our policy, and so we don’t use a tape recorder.
Mulder: Did you have that option? You could have recorded it with a tape recorder?
Patterson: Well, we don’t do that.
Mulder: But you could have?
Patterson: We don’t do that.

Patterson admitted many times he did not take notes. The matter became so repetitive that the judge eventually interjected:

Mulder: I’m not trying to trick you, I’m just trying to figure out what you saw. You didn’t take any notes, did you?
Patterson: No, sir.
Mulder: All right. At any rate —
THE COURT: I think we have established that the gentleman did not take any notes.
Mulder: Well, Judge, I keep thinking that he may whip out that whip-out book at any time.
THE COURT: I see. Well, let’s just move on to the next question.

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